A few months back, in response to my article “The Christian Life Is Like…a Box Of Chocolates?” I received the following reply. It touched me and I contacted the writer, Al Hartman, and asked permission to quote him. He graciously granted it.
“Perhaps (judging by the described table conversation) the ladies got what they expected, which would be very sad. But the root problem lies not with the ladies themselves, but with the men of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, who both teach and display the example of faithful living for all the people of God. Generally speaking, when professing Christian men congregate in a manner similar to that Anna describes, they talk is sports, cars, careers, kids in college, etc. Ministry in such gatherings is weak at best and too often farcical. Men who ought to be leading their homes in discipleship have settled for regarding the church as a social club.
Now this abdication by men shouldn’t keep women from being godly, but without God-ordained leadership from husbands and fathers women aren’t rightly instructed in godliness.
We men look to the leaders of the church for our living examples of Christian thought, speech and behavior. Sadly, there is scarcely anything exemplary to be found in todays pulpits– not none, but far too little. We have the Scriptures of course, and the biographies and writings of men of God through church history, but few alive today are instructing us in what and how to read and study.
We need preachers and teachers who so trust God for their livelihoods that they are unafraid to call sin by its name and to instruct, exhort and admonish the faithful, without concern for loss of attendance numbers or income. The “church building fund” should be comprised of Scriptures, not dollars, for the church is made up of God’s children, not of construction materials.”
Men of God, it is time to bow down to pray and then rise up to lead God’s people in the ways of godliness. We have been without an abundance of godly leadership for so long. Much of what has poured forth from our pulpits and from our homes has been a strange mix of feminism, gnosticism and paganistic self-help and has led us on the pathways of death. It is time for a change. Now is the moment for action; it is now that God’s Truth must be proclaimed. Bury yourself in the Word and teach us from the over-flow. Spend the night watches alone with God. You only lead well when you lead from your knees.
Whether in the pulpit or at home, your sisters in Christ need you to take a stand for the Truth of God’s Word. We need to hear it boldly proclaimed. Teach us that God takes His holiness serious; help us to do the same. Be an example of pious living. Teach us to be faithful to our Lord so that we might hate sin. Show us how to pray continuously. Help us to love God’s holy Word and to rightly divide it by comparing Scripture with Scripture. Reintroduce expository preaching. Let us know that each verse of Scripture has a meaning; help us to find it and understand it. Remind us that when we get away from the Word of God, we get away from God Himself.
Teach us to pray. Help us to hunger for the presence of God. Explain to us that prayer isn’t just intercession and that it is much, much more involved than an acronym could ever cover. Show us how to carry everything to the throne of God and then, trusting Him, leave it there. Show us how to praise Him, love Him, hunger for Him. Teach us to just be with Him. Show us that praying continuously is not only possible but wonderful. Teach us to wait before God.
We need to hear that you care about being the husbands and fathers God has commanded you to be. Our young men need a guide; it can be you. Teach them to pursue God before they pursue anything else. Teach them to be men of God, to be godly husbands and fathers, to be leaders of God’s people. Teach them to boldly take a stand for righteousness. Encourage the older men to do the same; encourage them to be teachers whom the younger men can respect. Don’t be afraid to speak out just because no one else does so. Every movement of God had a beginning; let it start with you. Without you, we will continue to fail.
Satan has lied about womanhood and we have listened. We are listening no longer. We hear the Voice of our Shepherd and we are following. We need your prayers for us as we seek to become godly women and embrace the life that was meant to be ours. We need you to preach, to teach, to guide us in the area of biblical womanhood. The world that hates us for being what God has called us to be; we need to hear that our efforts at rediscovering godly femininity are appreciated. Teach us the worthiness of our roles. Teach us that modesty must flow from a heart that is set aside for God. Teach us to take a stand for truth. Show us that virtuous womanhood means much to you and even more to God. Don’t be afraid to be strong.
O brothers, we are counting on you. We cannot do this alone. We can take back our homes and our churches one man, one woman, one family at a time. Women can be the examples to their families and to other women but if we seek to take the leadership in their families or in the churches we will once more be sinning. The onus to lead is on you–the man of God. Please, I beg you, take it seriously.